All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - so goes the proverb. But some kids prefer just to play. The Government Railway Police (GRP) at Chennai Central Railway Station rescued five children on Thursday who had run away from home, three of whom had shunned school.
On June 5, at around 6.30 a.m the GRP personnel who were on patrol spotted two young lads on platform 5 at Chennai Central. The police took them to inspector Sekar for enquiry and the two told Sekhar that they were eight-year-old boys from Bangalore. Their names are Mubarak and Raju.
On the same day the police personnel on duty spotted Satish (15) of Vyasarpadi roaming around in the station in the afternoon. He had run away from home and was headed to Coimbatore to stay in his relatives' house. He was also secured.
The others were Kumari (15) from Andhra Pradesh who had left home as her parents were always fighting. Another girl, Subriya, was an orphan who was part of a group of children from Orissa who had gone to Rameshwaram for a trip. “She had missed the group,” said Mr. Sekar.
According to Sekhar, Mubarak, Raju and Satish had enjoyed their holidays for two months and did not want to go to school when it reopened. “Hence they ran away from their homes,” said Mr. Sekar. The police got the address of the parents and called them. “We then counselled them and advised them not to pressurise the children to score marks than their classmates,” he said.
Student counsellors feel that the parents should be educated on how to motivate the children.
“One week before the school reopens, the children should be put under a routine so that their body clock adjusts when the school reopens,” feels Arundhati Swamy, family and student counsellor.
She said that if the children are from low income group, the expectations of the parents would be enormous. “Some of them may be first-generation learners and would want their children to score good marks. Wrong motivation can give negative results too so the schools should teach them on how to encourage their children in a positive manner,” she said.
R. Sekar, ADGP of GRP said that the surveillance in the station has been enhanced. “We are also closely co-ordinating with our colleagues in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other states. It will become easier for us to track the missing children,” he said.
All the children except Mubarak and Raju have been handed over to the parents and caretakers.
The two boys have been sent to children's home and the police are trying to contact their parents.